The Wilton-Lyndeborough School Board members voiced their concerns with SB 193, the statewide voucher bill that is moving through the State Legislature. According to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, they included whether the new stabilization grants designed to protect districts from large losses in state funding would be fully funded by the state:
“I have very serious misgivings about the bill,” said Roberts, a Wilton Democrat, during Tuesday’s joint meeting of the School Board and the Budget Committee. “The direction of education in this state is of great concern to me.”
School board chair Harry Daily noted that he was concerned about the loss of adequacy aid. Even if 20 or more — in other words, an entire classroom’s worth — of students’ parents decided to use the funds to secure alternate schooling for their child, it wasn’t likely that the district would be able to eliminate a teacher, he said. Because those students would be spread across the grades, it was unlikely that enough students from a single grade would leave the district to eliminate staff and reduce cost.
“Our cost structures don’t change, but our revenue changes,” Daily said…
The sudden loss of revenue is one of the changes addressed in the amended bill. Under the House version, schools would be eligible for a stabilization grant, which would allow for no more of a change in adequacy aid than a quarter of one percent of the district’s total budget. For Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative, that would be about $30,000.
School Board Vice-Chair Geoff Brock said he had misgivings that those grants would be fully funded each year, comparing them to catastrophic aid grants available to schools, which he said in his experience as a School Board member have never been fully funded.